We Need Electoral Reform!

We Need Electoral Reform!

In the run up to the Alternative Vote referendum of 2011, I wrote a series of posts on this blog about the need to switch to a fairer system of electing our MPs.

In one post, I presented a very simple analysis of the results from the 2010 election.

2010 UK Election Result

2010 UK Election Result

This called out some of the incredible inequalities in the effectiveness of votes, and the injustice suffered by parties I find anathema. For example, in that election, UKIP got almost one million votes (3% of the total vote) and got no seats in parliament.

The referendum failed and the 2015 election was carried out under First Past the Post. I used to have to pull up the table overa a pint with friends to discuss the inequalities (Why did the Liberal Democrats need almost 4 times the votes of Labour to get a seat? Why didn’t UKIP have representation? Why did the Greens have 1/8th the representation of the DUP, when they took 120k more votes?).

I don’t need to pull up the new table after this election. Everyone has already heard about how the Greens now have 1.1m votes, but one seat, with the SNP on 1.45m votes and 56 seats. Everyone is aware that UKIP, with 12% of the vote has only 0.15% of the representation. But I’ll present you with 2015’s table anyway:

2015 UK Election Results

2015 UK Election Results

 

I have heard some people support this system because it keeps out the extremists. Whilst my own convictions reject utterly the likes of UKIP, I’m not pleased about living under a system of governance that’s clearly unfair and has effectively disenfranchised millions of people. We need to hear their views and they need to be heard. Then we need to debate and refute them, if we can. We can’t just ignore them.

So what do we do about it?

Well, we already had a referendum in 2011, which was rejected by 2/3 of the vote. And we know that the dominant two parties will oppose a change that removes their dominance. So we need to be clever, and we need to mobilise people. That should be a lot easier with such an extreme outcome in this year’s election.

For now I’ve signed a couple of petitions:

 

 

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